When Linn Grant left the field at Halmstad Golf Club in Tylösand, Sweden, she filled herself with a group of young fans.
They shout for everything and everything at Sweden Golf and wave thoughtfully in hopes of getting a signature. Grant was properly bound, and he drew everything from hats to golf balls.
It was a sensation worthy of a historic achievement: Grant had just become the first female winner of the DP World Cup by winning the Scandinavian mixed event on 12 June.
And as if that’s not enough to make history, she did so in a dominant manner and crossed through the field of 156 players. The weekend’s top eight under 64 confirmed last day’s victory as Grant’s 24 under par finished her with nine strokes over runner-up Mark Warren and fellow Swede Henrik Stenson, and 14 strokes on the next player, Gabriel Cowley .
The victory was even sweeter, because it was a victory on its own soil – in every sense of the word. Boyfriend Pontus Samuelsson is holding a suitcase, with friends and family supporting in the midst of an ecstatic Swedish crowd.
“The atmosphere is there, I just felt it,” Grant told CNN Sport. “I felt it was just because I was from there, but after I got in the car on the way home, I saw calls on social media, journalists reaching out – everything just grew … It’s a little crazy. ”
Minji Lee’s victory at the US Women’s Open A week ago, Australia’s $ 1.8 million was the largest payout in women’s golf history. However, Lee’s unprecedented earnings were dwarfed by the great English record of $ 3.15 million Matt Fitzpatrick for winning the men’s event just a week later.
With her historic victory making headlines worldwide, Grant is optimistic that her success will help the women’s game take another step forward.
“I think a lot of people can relate to women’s golf,” she said, “maybe more than men’s, because” [men] Tap that far and the cycles are not long enough. ”
“I hope it has the kind of impact that people can look at and see that we are a group of good players, hit the ball far enough, hit it close together, kept our shots and scored well.
“I just hope more people realize this. And then we look better and we are more beautiful too! ‘Grant added laughing.
The victory in Halmstad turned just 23 years old after winning a week, and was the latest climax in what Grant’s rapid rise has been since becoming a professional in 2021.
Three victories in four months on the Women’s European Tour (LET) helped Grant finish second in the race to the Costa del Sol, a 28-season season that would crown a winner at the Andalusia Costa del Sol Open in Spain . Incredibly in November, she is at the top of the spectator group despite having played the least number of matches of any of the top nine goal scorers on the tour.
While some players struggled with the leap from amateur to pro, Grant flourished.
“When I came out of the winning zone for myself as an amateur last year, it was as if he was no longer motivated,” Grant said.
“It feels like I’m playing for money now – it’s my livelihood – suddenly I feel it does not matter [dropping out of the zone]. If I can make it a bird one last time, I can still earn more than if I did not. ”
The only player to receive a scholarship in The Race to Costa del Sol is youth friend Maja Stark. Friends of the Swedish national team since childhood and students in the same high school, the duo share a close bond.
“I always cheer her up and hope she does the same for me, and I know she does,” Grant said.
“It’s good to have someone who knows the situation you are in and to be able to talk to them about things that other people cannot or simply do not understand.”
Not that their friendship prevented Grant from pursuing her desire to chase Stark and declaring her victory over Spain as one of her main goals of the season.
With Johanna Gustafsson behind Grant, the trio that is all over Sweden at the top of The Race to Costa del Sol reflects the Scandinavian nation’s dominance of LET and Sweden’s growing golf stock, which has already produced a legend in the sport.
In Annika Sørenstam, Grant has a role model. Sorenstam, the co-founder of the Scandinavian mixed event, formed one of the greatest careers in women’s golf history with 10 major victories and 72 LPGA championships before her professional retirement in 2008.
Grant cites two reasons for the recent rush of women players in the country: the investment and efforts of the Swedish Golf Association to develop the game and, ironically, the harsh climate in the North.
As snow conditions shorten the country’s golf season, Swedish players will have to work extra hard to maximize training, with Grant putting “wasted” practice time into other activities that will help her play, such as the gym.
“We can’t play 12 months a year, which gives you a bit of thick skin,” she explained. “It’s zero degrees, you just have to go out there and hit the pins or whatever you want to practice with.”
With her historic victory in the Scandinavian mixed event, it seems that the attitude is bearing fruit – to help Grant in her mission to grow the sport and serve as a role model, not only for women, but for all who play the game play.
“If this victory can help anyone or give someone a little extra motivation, I’m glad,” she said.